The Andover High School Building Committee is looking to September to call for a Special Town Meeting to ask for approval to spend $1.3 million for a schematic design for a new school.

“The phase two [schematic design] budget is at $1.3 million requiring approval — as we’ve discussed, at a September special town meeting,” said Joe DeSantis of PMA Consultants. 

The committee withdrew a warrant article to ask for the money at Annual Town Meeting in May, as the Town looked for help to finance new capital projects as it neared its state-mandated debt limit. At Thursday’s building committee meeting, Chair Mark Johnson said state Rep. Frank Moran (D-Lawrence) had told him he expected regulations so borrowing for new schools would not count against the Town’s debt cap.

The building committee is using its meetings this summer to look for ways to cut the preliminary, $480.9 million price tag. Those cost-cutting measures are being weighed against the educational plan the committee developed for the new school.

At Thursday’s meeting, the board voted to remove solar panels from the budget and instead have panels installed, and instead purchase solar power through a power purchase agreement.

The committee is tentatively planning to discuss building layout, space adjustments, the skate park and sports field lights at its next meeting. In August, the committee hopes to look at whether the athletic fields should have artificial or natural turf, whether sports lighting should be included in the schematic design, and other construction details. The committee will continue to tackle design elements that could help reduce the cost throughout the fall.

One thought on “AHS Building Committee Eyes September For Special Town Meeting”
  1. Spending another $1.3 million to design a project that exceeds state standard by 140,000 sf is absolutely irresponsible.
    Mark johnson needs to be honest with the public.

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